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Kidnapping Politics


Prof. Richard Samuels
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA


"Kidnapping Politics"


3. Juni 2009


Since 2002, when North Korean leader Kim Jong Il admitted that his government had abducted Japanese citizens, a riveting "captivity narrative" has engaged the Japanese media, government ministries, politicians, and civil society. Professor Samuels will examine the complex political dynamics surrounding two very different sets of abductees, one literal and the other metaphorical: The first is the group of young people swept off Japanese beaches and European streets by North Korean agents. The second comprises Japanese domestic politics and foreign diplomacy, and how each has been captured and put to partisan ends. He will ask if this troubling case is representative of Japanese politics and diplomacy overall, will compare it to similar "captivity narratives" elsewhere, and will examine its implications for international relations in East Asia.


Zur Person: 

Prof. Samuels ist Ford International Professor am Department for Political Science am Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Er studierte an den Universitäten Colgate, Tufts und Harvard sowie an der Universität Tokyo und promovierte 1980 am MIT. Er ist Mitbegründer und Direktor des MIT Japan Program sowie Direktor des MIT Center for International Studies. Prof. Samuels ist u.a. Mitglied im Vorstand der American Political Science Association und Co-Chair des MIT Global Council, 2008-9. Er absolvierte Gastaufenthalte in Tokyo, Italien und Schweden. Seine Forschungsschwerpunkte sind u.a. Vergleichende Politikwissenschaften, Politische Ökonomie, Internationale Beziehungen und Japanische Politik.  Seine jüngste Publikation ist:Securing Japan: Tokyo's Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia (Cornell University Press 2007).